Published On: Thu, Nov 23rd, 2017

Anambra election sounded death knell of IPOB – Lai Mohammed

Lai Mohammed

Lai Mohammed

Latest news update as the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said the success of Anambra Governorship election has sounded the death knell of secessionist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.

IPOB had campaigned for boycott of the poll which was held last weekend and had even threatened anybody who comes out to vote with death just before the election.

But the most observers and political analysts said the turnout of voters at the election won by the incumbent governor Willie Obiano did not indicate that the people heeded the directive of IPOB.

In a chat with political editors, Mohammed said the fact that the people came out to vote despite the threat by IPOB did not represent the good people of Anambra or any state in the South-east.

“If truly they represented the people, the IPOB propaganda about the election really showed that they are not on ground,” he added.

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According to him, the people of Anambra have shown that there was no alternative to democracy and that they believed in one Nigeria and federal system of government.

“If there are issues to be resolved, let us resolve it. But terrorism and separatism is not the answer.

“I think the Anambra election has sounded the death knell on IPOB because they said election will never hold. The election has come and gone, the turnout was quite reasonable. Every party competed very competitively and at the end of the day, the people of Anambra have decided who is going to be their governor,” said the Information minister.

The Minister also the President Muhammadu Buhari had shown that he was committed to a free and fair election by providing a level playing ground for all candidates in the Anambra election.

According to him, the APC-led government wanted the people to decide the outcome of every election.

“It is not about who is at the centre but we did not follow the temptation to use our muscle. It was quite tempting because we don’t have any governor in the South-east but we felt it is only fair for the people to decide their own fate.

“The Buhari-administration provided a level playing field for all and he showed that from the manner he restored the security aides of Governor Obiano.

“For whatever reason, the Inspector-General of Police (IG) felt that going by experience, it will not be proper to leave the security aides.

“So, he posted out the Aide-de-Camp (ADC) to the governor and other key security officials. But the president felt that it is not enough to be honest, you must also appear honest and whatever the reasons the IG might have is about perception.

“He said the right thing to do is to restore the governor’s aides and design a manner to ensure that nobody will abuse the constitution.

“This has never happened in the history of Nigeria. I know that the practice before was that a few days before election, commissioners of police will be posted out even sometimes, INEC officials or DG SSS will be posted out.”

Mohammed also dismissed claims that the President’s recent visit to South-east was because of 2019 elections.

“It is not by visiting a particular place that you show that you are running for 2019. What will determine your campaign in 2019 is your performance while in office and I can say as a member of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) that we are very careful that projects are spread equally across the country and that the interest of every zone is taken into considerations so that nobody can say ‘I have been marginalised or shortchanged”, the Minister said.